BiasAlerts

June 4 marks the 20th anniversary of the Chinese army massacre of pro-democracy demonstrators in Tiananmen Square. Back in 1989, the big networks provided in-depth coverage of the massive protests that swelled in mid-May, and harsh coverage of the brutal reaction from the communist authorities. But, as the Media Research Center noted at the time, the networks also used the occasion for some bizarre comparisons. Two that stand out from our archive: CBS's Eric Engberg comparing the People's Liberation Army's planned assault on students with the Ohio National Guard's panicky shooting into anti-war demonstrators at Kent State University in 1970,... continue reading
Two weeks after ABC's Laura Marquez blamed California's budget deficit on an "unwillingness to raise taxes" tied to 1978's Proposition 13 "mandating an almost unachievable two-thirds vote by the legislature to raise taxes," on Tuesday night she repeated herself as she lamented "education and social services continue to end up on the chopping block" because "it's a lot easier to make cuts than it is to raise taxes" since Prop 13 requires "the approval of two-thirds of the legislature to raise taxes, a virtual impossibility." In fact, though personal income tax collections "dropped 14% last year," a May 19 Wall... continue reading
"MSNBC News Live" co-host David Shuster slammed Dick Cheney on Tuesday's program as a hypocrite, complaining, " Your Iraq war inflamed the Muslim world, bred a new generation of terrorists who hate America and cost the lives of over 4,000 U.S. soldiers." The broadside against the former Vice President occurred during day two of Shuster's newly resurrected "Hypocrisy Watch" segment, a feature that mostly goes after conservatives and Republicans.[audio available here ] Shuster complained about an appearance Cheney made at the National Press Club on Tuesday. The ex-VP decried the closing of Guantanamo Bay and defended the Iraq war, asserting... continue reading
The networks, which saw the apparently politically-motivated murder of a Kansas doctor who performed late term abortions as a major story, haven't been so interested in a Muslim convert who specifically targeted and shot two Army privates outside a Little Rock recruiting office, killing one, William Long. None mentioned it on Monday night and on Tuesday evening, as all aired follow-up pieces on Dr. George Tiller, only NBC gave it a few seconds. A Tuesday Arkansas Democrat-Gazette post reported Abdul Hakim Muhammad was "on a mission to 'kill as many people in the Army as he could,' police said" and... continue reading
In an interview excerpt aired on Tuesday's NBC Nightly News, from the NBC News special, 'Inside the Obama White House,' set to air at 9 PM EDT/PDT tonight (Tuesday) and Wednesday, Brian Williams used President Barack Obama's upcoming speech to Muslims in Cairo to take a dig at former President George Bush, as he contended: "It's a speech that your predecessor perhaps could not have given constitutionally, given who he is, and could not have given because the attack came on his watch." Obama rejected Williams' premise: "I'm not sure that it's true that President Bush couldn't have given a... continue reading
Tuesday's Today show completely ignored two facts about a man who murdered a soldier at an Army recruiting station in Arkansas: He had just converted to Islam and was being investigated by the FBI for a trip to Yemen. Instead, NBC's Ann Curry, in anchor briefs throughout the show, vaguely explained that Abdulhakim Muhammad was "upset with the military." Both ABC and CBS mentioned the conversion and the Yemen trip. In the 8am hour, Curry confirmed, "Police say the suspect had political and religious motives." (What kind? She didn't say.) The reporter did note that the alleged shooter would be... continue reading
On Monday's CBS Early Show, co-host Julie Chen mentioned President Obama taking the First Lady on a date night to New York City over the weekend: "The President and First Lady had a long-planned night out in New York City on Saturday, doing dinner and Greenwich Village and taking in the Broadway show, 'Joe Turner's Come and Gone'" Co-host Maggie Rodriguez commented on the restaurant the first couple went to: "Blue Hill, down in Greenwich Village. It's a wonderful restaurant." Co-host Harry Smith added: "Probably impossible to get a reservation now, right?" Later, Rodriguez explained the "long-planned" excursion: "...this is... continue reading
MSNBC News Live host David Shuster railed against conservative "hypocrite" Newt Gingrich late Monday afternoon, resurrecting a segment from his canceled program 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. The cable anchor slammed the former House Speaker for calling Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor a racist on his Twitter page. Shuster noted that Gingrich supported Bush pick Sam Alito in 2006. He then played a clip of the then-nominee saying that when he has to rule on a discrimination case, Altio would think of people in his own family who have suffered bias. Shuster derided: " Hey, Newt. When you embrace the empathy of... continue reading
NBC, frequently the object of Bill O'Reilly's scorn for its biased presentation of the news from the left, provided him with fresh evidence Monday evening as the NBC Nightly News, unlike the ABC and CBS newscasts, found it newsworthy in a story on the murder of Kansas doctor George Tiller, who performed abortions of viable fetuses, to highlight "on the Internet, questions from critics of commentator Bill O'Reilly about his blunt remarks regarding abortion and Dr. Tiller." In the piece from reporter Janet Shamlian, viewers then heard from O'Reilly in a Web video clip from an un-dated episode of O'Reilly's... continue reading
Chris Matthews, on Monday's Hardball, was outraged at the RNC's criticism of the Obamas wasting taxpayer money to go see a Broadway play as he railed that it was a "jealous, pathetic swipe at the First Couple," and remarked "What a jealous, little political party the Republicans have become." Matthews also took a shot at former President George W. Bush as he contrasted Obama's tastes with Bush's as he claimed the problem he and others had with Bush was his "utter disdain for any kind of thought or culture. His total lack of curiosity toward anything beyond his own backyard."... continue reading